Full Tilt Ice Cream announces flavor for fight to save reproductive rights

May 16th, 2022 at 9:47 pm Posted in Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center news | No Comments »

From White Center-founded Full Tilt Ice Cream:

Full Tilt Ice Cream today announced Stout Your Abortion, a new flavor to support SYA. shoutyourabortion.com. Stout Your Abortion is a stout ice cream with chocolate flakes and benefits SYA.

“The SCOTUS has become a political weapon that is now being used to suppress and control people with vaginas.” says Justin, owner at Full Tilt. “This ice cream isn’t going to change anything, but hopefully it raises awareness.”

To celebrate the release of this flavor, there is a launch party on Friday the 20th of May at the White Center location, starting at 4 pm.

Stout Your Abortion will be available starting 5/20/2022 at all Full Tilt locations.

The White Center shop is at 9629 16th SW.

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White Center Pride Block Party less than 4 weeks away!

May 15th, 2022 at 11:17 pm Posted in Fun, White Center news | No Comments »

Is your calendar set for this?

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SATURDAY: 300 garage/yard/alley/block sales ‘next door’

May 13th, 2022 at 8:02 pm Posted in West Seattle, White Center news | No Comments »

Been a little quiet over here as we work on the biggest project of the year over on partner site West Seattle Blog – we are the coordinators of the annual (except for the pandemic hiatus) West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day. Tomorrow (Saturday, May 14th, 9 am-3 pm) is the big day, and we wanted to invite everyone. If you’re interested in shopping, find the map and list here.

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What you might not know about the cannabis business, and how it’s regulated, @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s May meeting

May 5th, 2022 at 8:47 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | 2 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The cannabis business and how it’s regulated comprised the spotlight topic at tonight’s May meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council. Here’s what happened:

STATE LIQUOR AND CANNABIS BOARD: Lt. EP Hackenberg handles this region. He noted that there are seven stores in the White Center/North Highline area.

He showed the income and taxes paid by just those seven stores – public information by terms of the measure that legalized cannabis – $5.5 million in taxes last year alone:

There were two processing facilities during the year – West Coast Premium Products and Kush Mountain Gardens – but Lt. Hackenberg wasn’t sure if they are still in operation. Their “tax footprint” is/was negligible, though.

One big task for his agency, compliance checks:

So far this year they’re at 86 percent compliance, but historically it’s been more like 95 percent. He also acknowledged the recent robberies targeting cannabis retailers – including ones that resulted in three deaths, one budtender, two robbers – and said they offer safety tips to shops. (That advice is available on the LCB website.) He clarified that his agency is not a primary law-enforcement agency so they don’t respond to or investigate crimes like these – local law enforcement does. Then he added that there’s one thing his agency has in common with local law enforcement – they’re hiring.

In Q&A, NHUAC’s Liz Giba wondered if safety measures would be codified/regulated, or just left up to stores. For one, they are required to have cameras, Lt. Hackenberg said, but he hasn’t seen any evidence that anything else will be required. “We want to give them options for how they can be safer in running their business.” NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin asked if he had any data on store holdups and other crimes in this area. He didn’t have a specific NH breakdown. And there have been different robbery groups/individuals – it’s not just one group responsible for all.

Next up was Officer Erick Thomas from the LCB. He was there to talk about the education/enforcement division. He showed the numbers for liquor and cannabis businesses – the former far outnumber the latter:

The White Center area is in the jurisdiction of one of the 15 statewide cannabis-enforcement officers – he is that one right now, responsible for 285 licensed locations – and one of the 48 retail-liquor enforcement officers, who has 127 licensed locations to keep tabs on. Discussion with him clarified that there are five operating marijuana stores, and one processor, in the White Center/Top Hat area. WALCB also has “compliance consultants,” two of whom work in King County. Here’s what officers like him do:

He said they check 7 locations a month, and location often helps determine the priority – a store not far from a school, for example, woudd be a high priority. If he gets a complaint about a business, he has 60 days to investigate. He also does “closing checks” during regularly scheduled night shifts each month. The division also spends many hours on education, “We put a large focus on education as part of enforcement.”

Want to file a complaint? You can do that online. You can do it anonymously but as an officer, he prefers to be able to talk with the complainant, to get more detail. If he knows who the complainant is, he can circle around and explain how the investigation turned out.

In Q/A, Officer Thomas was asked about the plans for a menthol-cigarette ban. He said he does not expect that to be a problem – they managed to handle the flavored-vape ban, and this is likely to be similar. Next question: Say you get a complaint about a bar serving minors. How do you investigate? That will often lead to a compliance check, or even surveillance, if he has information on a specific employee and a specific time of day. He investigated that kind of complaint in North Highline in 2020 and that generated a violation, which can result in a $500 fine or a multi-day license suspension. He said the business failed multiple compliance checks and could have lost their license; instead, they sold the business, and now there is a new licensee in the same location that has passed its checks.

What about hookah lounges? asked NHUAC’s Pat Price. The one that’s been the site of some issues in the area is on their radar, Officer Thomas said. They “continue to work” that spot, he said. He also noted the Taradise Café situation, in which “many agencies” were involved, the county found a violation that closed it, and all that unfolded before its proprietor’s untimely death; now the building is in different hands. He also was asked about the unlicensed cannabis stores in White Center in the past; WALCB was involved in that. Two different owners. two raids, the second one was King County-led, he said. They got a tobacco license, applied for a liquor license, but that didn’t work out when an investigation revealed ties to past ownership. Overall, Thomas said, they work rather stealthily – no uniforms, no marked cars, “you don’t see us around .. a lot of times customers, employees don’t even know we’re in there observing operations.”

Overall, “we want successful retail operations in our community,” Thomas underscored.

Do they get many complaints? They’re starting to ramp up, but less than a dozen so far this year. He added later in the meeting that he had just done compliance checks and six out of seven went well.

King County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer, a regular guest, couldn’t attend the meeting, but NHUAC did also hear from Marissa Jauregui, who coordinates the local Coalition for Drug-Free Youth. She talked about youth trends and said her organization works with Cascade Middle School and Evergreen High School, and has worked in the White Center area for a decade.

Seeing family and/or friends use substances influences young people’s choices, she noted. She also showed results of a survey showing that substance use is up among local youth in the past year:

Why are they using? Many reasons:

Understanding is vital when approaching conversations about this with youth. She also talked about the physical facts of dependence and addiction. Cannabis is becoming “more commonly used about youth people …. (because of) a misperception that you can’t become addicted.” Smoking, vaping, and dabbing are the most common ways youth use cannabis. It affects memory, learning, sports performance, even a risk of psychosis and schizophrenia with heavier use. Regarding alcohol, memory and learning are affected, and in this case, the younger you start drinking, the more likely you are to become dependent. And then there’s nicotine – something that youth start using without knowing much about it, and then they unwittingly become dependent. It’s often used in vaping – with a lot of other dangerous mystery chemicals.

She also mentioned fentanyl since there was a recent discovery of cannabis laced with it – you might ingest it unknowingly, but “the risk of overdose is strong.” It’s also showing up in pills.

When does the coalition meet? she was asked. There is a big event next Tuesday, online:

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Price noted that the White Center Library is open again and trying to rebuild attendance, and the White Center Library Guild is looking for new members (watch for more on that soon). The guild will have its sidewalk sale at the library July 15th and 17th. … Inbetween, on July 16th, the White Center Kiwanis will host its pancake breakfast at the WC Eagles HQ, 8 am-noon … Giba also reminded everyone that the King County Council continues working through the North Highline Subarea Plan (among other planning matters) and that she encourages attendance at the May 24th and June 28th meetings, online, 9:30 am.

NEXT NHUAC MEETING: 7 pm June 2nd, online, before summer hiatus.

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UPDATE: Power outage in White Center, South Park, West Seattle

May 5th, 2022 at 1:04 pm Posted in South Park, Utilities, West Seattle, White Center news | No Comments »

1:04 PM: Big power outage affecting parts of White Center as well as South Park and West Seattle – more than 14,000 customers, according to Seattle City Light. Under investigation is a report that this might have been caused by a tree being cut and falling onto wires in central Delridge.

2:15 PM: About a third of the originally affected customers are back on, including South Park and parts of West Seattle. SCL has in the meantime confirmed that a tree is to blame, and says it took out “two feeders,” which is why this was such a large outage.

2:21 PM: And as we typed that, most of the rest of the outage zone was restored – now down to fewer than 400 customers.

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VIDEO: Interim Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall nominated for permanent job

May 3rd, 2022 at 11:22 am Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 1 Comment »

11:22 AM: In the parking lot at Steve Cox Memorial Park this past hour, both King County Executive Dow Constantine and his newly announced nominee for Sheriff, Patti Cole-Tindall, paid homage to the park’s namesake as someone who embodied community service. Cole-Tindall, who’s been serving as interim sheriff since the start of the year, promised to carry on that tradition. We were there as both spoke with the media, and we’ll have the full story plus video later today.

ADDED 12:15 PM: Constantine declared, “I think we have found the right person to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office.” He noted that he chose Cole-Tindall – who joined KCSO seven years ago – from what started as a field of 12 candidates, narrowed to 3 finalists (the other two were from out of state). He believes she’ll “chart a new course” as an “effective leader for change,” especially given her background in roles including the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. Here’s how he introduced her:

Cole-Tindall acknowledged she isn’t and won’t be “a traditional sheriff.” She again mentioned Deputy Cox, saying he “loved this community and they loved him back.” We asked her about specific plans for the unincorporated communities such as White Center/North Highline, and she said one idea is to create “community councils/action committees” to “hear directly from folks (and) engage with the community.” Engagement, she says, is what she heard the most about from members of the public during the hiring process.

Another of her top priorities will be to restructure the Sheriff’s Office. Right now, for example, it has only three divisions, in some cases ‘mash(ing) together” unrelated responsibilities. No job loss, she promised. And she wants to work on both employee retention and hiring incentives, as KCSO copes with a staffing shortage like that plaguing so many departments around the nation. Here are her full remarks:

Cole-Tindall’s most-recent role in KCSO before interim sheriff was as undersheriff. The County Council considers her nomination on May 18th and Constantine says he’s hoping for a final vote by month’s end. Meantime, it’s been noted that since Cole-Tindall hasn’t been serving as a certified officer in recent years, she’ll have to go back to the academy, an almost five-month-long process, no later than January. While she’s there, “an acting Sheriff from the KCSO leadership team willl be appointed,” today’s announcement says.

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New King County Sheriff to be announced Tuesday in White Center

May 2nd, 2022 at 2:14 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | No Comments »

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he’s made his decision on who he’d like to hire as the next sheriff, and will introduce his nominee to the media tomorrow morning at White Center’s Steve Cox Memorial Park. Three people were identified as finalists for the job, which is now an appointed rather than elected position: Patti Cole-Tindall, Interim Sheriff; Charles Kimble, Chief of Police, Killeen, Texas; Reginald Moorman, Major, Atlanta, Georgia Police.

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Cannabis in the spotlight at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s May meeting

April 30th, 2022 at 11:56 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Next chance to connect with your community council is this Thursday – here’s the announcement:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID 861 8430 3928
Passcode: NHUAC2022 (Case Sensitive)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please call 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 861 8430 3928
Passcode: 538997120

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

White Center has a colorful history. “During the Prohibition years (1916-1933), the trade was bootleg liquor. Some members of local law enforcement were in on the smuggling.’ After Prohibition ended in 1933, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol became a significant part of White Center’s legal business community. White Center — Thumbnail History – HistoryLink.org

The legalization of alcohol put the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics at risk. It needed something to prohibit. Cannabis was chosen for a number of reasons, including money. Companies such as DuPont and Ford feared competition from products that might be produced from hemp. Racism was another motivator. The ”name…’marihuana” painted cannabis as foreign and dangerously exotic, making it seem as though the criminalization of marijuana was necessary to keep the country safe.” The History of U.S. Marijuana Prohibition – CNBS

In 2012, Washington voters legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana. Since legalization, cannabis shops have become a substantial part of the community. With them came tax dollars and concerns ranging from the effect of such an abundance of these businesses on our young people to the recent rise in robberies of cannabis shops.

In 2015, the Liquor Control Board became the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). So, what is the state of the liquor and cannabis businesses in our community and state? NHUAC will be joined by LCB’s Lieutenant E.P. Hackenberg and Officer Erick Thomas at our May 5th meeting. You may know Officer Thomas. His territory includes North Highline, and he participates in NHUAC and Coalition for Drug-Free Youth meetings. We’ve asked Lieutenant Hackenberg to talk about maintaining safety in cannabis stores and other industry-wide issues. We welcome them both and, of course, Deputy Bill Kennamer!

Knowledge is power.

Learn, share, and help make North Highline a healthier community.

May 5, 2022 at 7 pm – Invite Your Neighbors!

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LIBRARIES: Got something overdue? Fresh Start for All will clear late fees as of May 4 and suspend new ones temporarily

April 29th, 2022 at 4:09 pm Posted in Libraries, White Center news | No Comments »

Local libraries are offering a break starting next Wednesday to people who owe fines for overdue materials – or who are about to incur them. Here’s the announcement:

On May 4, the King County Library System will clear late fines for all patrons with a new initiative called A Fresh Start for All. This one-time waiver gives patrons a fresh start on their account and enables access to all KCLS materials. A Fresh Start for All was approved by the KCLS Board of Trustees on April 27, 2022.

The coronavirus pandemic placed many hardships on King County communities. To help patrons, KCLS temporarily stopped assessing late fines in March 2020. The System also lifted electronic access on blocked accounts during this time so patrons could still download digital materials.

KCLS will return to pre-pandemic circulation practices on September 15, and will start assessing late fines again at that time. After their accounts have been cleared on May 4, patrons will have until September 15 to return items before late fines resume.

KCLS is also introducing a new automatic renewal service on September 15. KCLS will automatically renew holds for patrons if their items are eligible for renewal. This will allow patrons to keep their materials longer without accruing late fines. Patrons may opt out of this service if they choose to.

Late fines add up when a patron does not return library materials by the due date. Late fines over $25 lead to a blocked account. A blocked account limits access to library services, books and other materials.

Lost fees are different from late fines. If library materials are more than 30 days overdue, they are considered lost. A Fresh Start for All will not apply to these fees; under state law, KCLS cannot waive lost fees. On May 4, the System will begin processing lost fees again. KCLS will mail billing notices to accounts with over $25 in fees. Patrons will have until September 15 to return items or pay fees before accounts are blocked.

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TUESDAY: North Highline Subarea Plan and more @ County Council committee

April 25th, 2022 at 9:07 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | 3 Comments »

We’ve been tracking the North Highline Subarea Plan; most recently, the NH Unincorporated Area Council discussed it at this month’s meeting (WCN coverage here), after King County Executive Dow Constantine sent it to the County Council as part of the proposed Comprehensive Plan update. Tomorrow morning, councilmembers’ review gears up with a committee briefing. Here’s the announcement:

On Tuesday, April 26, the Local Services and Land Use Committee will receive a briefing on the Executive’s proposed 2022 Comprehensive Plan update and the 2024 Comprehensive Plan scope of work. The committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., and will be held remotely. For information on how to watch the meeting or provide public comment, please visit the website for the Local Services and Land Use Committee. Staff report information for the two items is available here.

2022 Comprehensive Plan Update

On March 31, 2022, the Executive transmitted the proposed 2022 update to the 2016 King County Comprehensive Plan as Proposed Ordinance 2022-0162. The 2022 update includes consideration of the Skyway-West Hill Subarea Plan and North Highline Subarea Plan. The legislation has been referred to the Local Services and Land Use Committee for review over the next several months for potential amendment and recommendation, with final adoption by the full Council anticipated in December 2022. More information about the Council’s review of the proposal can be found on the 2022 Comprehensive Plan website.

2024 Scope of Work

On March 24, 2022, the Executive transmitted to the Council the proposed scope of work for the 2024 Comprehensive Plan as Proposed Motion 2022-0156. The scope of work has been referred to the Local Services and Land Use Committee for review, with final adoption by the full Council in early June 2022. More information about the Council’s review of the proposal can be found on the 2024 Comprehensive Plan website.

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VIDEO: Ride for Major Taylor rolls out from White Center

April 25th, 2022 at 2:52 am Posted in How to Help, Sports, White Center news | Comments Off on VIDEO: Ride for Major Taylor rolls out from White Center

Those are some of the riders who left the White Center Bike Playground on Sunday morning to head out on the fundraising Ride for Major Taylor. It was actually two rides – a 63-mile route, with riders heading out as early as 7 am, and a 26-mile route with departures starting at 8:30 am.

The ride raises money to help youth via the Major Taylor Project. The presenting organization, Cascade Bicycle Club, explains it:

Marshall “Major” Taylor was a Black athlete and cycling legend who was one of the greatest bicyclists of his era, setting numerous world records and winning a World Championship–all while battling racism throughout his career from the late 1800s to early 1900s. He was an international superstar whose amazing talents and drive were as well-known in his era as LeBron James or Serena Williams are today.

The Major Taylor Project is a year-round, youth leadership cycling program focused on introducing young adults from underserved communities to the recreation of cycling and creating an inclusive culture of bicycling that will continue to future generations. The Major Taylor Project currently serves schools in the Puget Sound region; Seattle, Tacoma, and Puyallup.

The Major Taylor Project welcomes donations year-round.

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NO RAPIDRIDE UNTIL NEXT YEAR: Another schedule change for Metro

April 19th, 2022 at 2:45 pm Posted in Metro, Transportation, White Center news | 2 Comments »

(Image from kingcounty.gov)

The conversion of Metro Route 120 into RapidRide H Line is being pushed back again. Metro has just announced that instead of launching this fall, the H Line won’t arrive until March 2023: “Unforeseen construction and materials delays from the regional concrete strike that began in early December 2021 have added several months to the original timeline of the RapidRide H Line project.” The announcement adds, “Under the revised implementation schedule, Metro plans to add more daily bus trips to coincide with the launch of the RapidRide service in March 2023, which will then improve frequent service to provide a bus trip in both directions every seven minutes during peak commute times.” Metro says that “approximately 40% of the overall construction work” has been completed so far. The Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving project that SDOT handled was in support of the expected launch. This is the fourth time the launch has been pushed back – the conversion of Route 120 was originally projected for 2019, then that was pushed to 2020, then to 2021, and then a year and a half ago, changed to 2022.

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King County Public Health closes Crawfish House

April 18th, 2022 at 10:00 am Posted in Health, Restaurants, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Just announced by Public Health Seattle-King County:

The Crawfish House restaurant at 9826 16th Ave SW was closed by a Public Health food inspector on April 15, 2022 at 5:30 pm due to failure to comply with the following outstanding violations:

Demonstration of knowledge in food safety
Lack of handwashing
Inadequate handwashing facilities
Environmental contamination of foods
Effective pest control
Lack of proper cold holding of foods
Contaminated food contact surfaces

The establishment will be reopened once the inspector confirms that these issues have been resolved.

The restaurant’s overall rating from past inspections is “OK.” You can check for other current closures here.

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UPDATE: Balloon blamed for power outage in White Center business district

April 17th, 2022 at 1:06 pm Posted in Utilities, White Center news | Comments Off on UPDATE: Balloon blamed for power outage in White Center business district

1:06 PM: Thanks for the tips. A power outage is affecting much of downtown White Center right now – the Seattle City Light map, shown above, says 268 customers are out. No official word on the cause, but we note a crash was reported around 16th/102nd at the same time this started, so we’re off to check.

1:38 PM: Apparently that was unrelated (and cleared before we arrived). The SCL map now attribute the outage to “balloon.” Meantime, businesses on 16th appear to have power.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Armed robbery; catalytic-converter thefts

April 16th, 2022 at 1:06 am Posted in Crime, White Center news | 2 Comments »

Two crime reports:

ARMED ROBBERY: This was broadcast as an alert to Seattle Police as well as KCSO – a report that someone was held up at gunpoint by the White Center US Bank ATM on Friday night. Just one robber reported. No other details.

CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFTS: The photo and report are from Ron near 20th SW and SW 102nd:

I received a call from a neighbor that their catalytic converter was stolen at 2:05 AM Wednesday. I checked my cameras, and I got some pictures of the thief’s vehicle, a white SUV type, picture (above). While watching the video, I also saw them steal another neighbor’s catalytic converter. The sheriff’s office has been notified.

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SUMMER GUEST: Host a DubSea Fish Sticks player!

April 15th, 2022 at 10:14 am Posted in DubSea Fish Sticks, How to Help, White Center news | Comments Off on SUMMER GUEST: Host a DubSea Fish Sticks player!

(Photo courtesy DubSea Fish Sticks)

Got room under your roof for a summer visitor? The DubSea Fish Sticks are looking for a few more host families for the collegiate players who will spend a big part of their summer here:

The DubSea Fish Sticks summer collegiate baseball team is looking for host families for out-of-town players this summer.

The team recruits players from colleges across the country to come and play for the months of June and July. The 2022 summer roster is composed of players from 26 different colleges. The players report in late May and play with the team to hone their skills and hope to one day play professionally.

Similarly to junior-hockey teams like the Seattle Thunderbirds out of Kent, the Fish Sticks rely on the support of local families to host players for the summer months, also known as billets in the hockey community.

General Manager Justin Moser said, “Host families are the backbone to successful summer collegiate teams. Being able to recruit players from a broader range of area improves our ability to be as competitive as possible. It also allows us to expand our reach into other communities and give college student athletes an experience of living in our community.”

The Fish Sticks aren’t just a baseball team, though. They require players to volunteer within the community weekly, performing community-service hours at the food bank, with local non-profit organizations, help run youth baseball camps, and do community cleanups regularly.

“We’ve seen host families in the past start out as a safe place to stay, and then the relationship grows and many players become an extension of the family. Most of our former players and their families still have relationships with their former host families,” explained Moser.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a host family, please visit gofishsticks.com/hostfamilies. The team is still in need of hosts for 8 players this summer.

You can find more information about the Fish Sticks at GoFishSticks.com, where you can join their priority ticket list. Season tickets and flex packs go on sale in mid-April and single-game tickets go on sale in May.

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Ride for Major Taylor to start/finish in White Center on April 24th

April 14th, 2022 at 11:56 pm Posted in How to Help, White Center news | Comments Off on Ride for Major Taylor to start/finish in White Center on April 24th

You’ll see hundreds of bicyclists riding in White Center on April 24th, as the Cascade Bicycle Club‘s Ride for Major Taylor starts and finishes at WC Bicycle Playground (11050 10th SW). The ride raises money to support free after-school educational programming. Riders can choose a 26- or 63-mile course. Find out more – and register, if you want to ride – here.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s April meeting spotlights the Subarea Plan

April 13th, 2022 at 11:56 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The plan intended to shape North Highline’s future is advancing through the branches of King County government, and it held centerstage at this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting.

NORTH HIGHLINE SUBAREA PLAN: The meeting began with an encore appearance by Jacqueline Reid, who is now the plan’s point person. King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s recommended version of the plan has gone to the King County Council.

The document was sent to the council at the end of March. It’s all part of an update to the county comprehensive plan, so it’s accompanying documents covering other areas of the county, and some code amendments. When you get to the list of documents (follow the links here), just look for the North Highline Community Service Area Subarea Plan link. It’s now in the County Council review phase, so that’s where to direct questions and concerns. Reid summarized all the comments they’d received and how they’d tried to reach people.

You can see the comments, she said, by going here: https://www.publicinput.com/northhighline Here’s a few toplines of what Reid said they heard:

Then she hit some toplines of the proposed plan itself, starting with zoning classifications:

That’s an “overview map,” she stressed. Color coding indicates where a change is proposed. Map Amendment 4 is what would make the zoning changes.

She said one block of parcels proposed for upzoning was removed because it wasn’t close to frequent transit after all, while they added some near White Center Library. Feedback, meantime, is keeping the south block on this view as industrial

A “pedestrian overlay” will ban marijuana production/processing among other rules:

In downtown White Center, zoning will be for up to 55′ height. They also will limit businesses to 5,000 square feet.

They’re implementing Inclusionary Housing, with a preference for people “with ties” to the area. Reid went through some policies spelled out by the Subarea Plan:

In Q&A, Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer wondered about the plan for increasing infrastructure and supports – public safety, schools, etc. – if all the potential density comes to fruition. Yes, they have to consider the plan’s “implications,” replied Reid. Then King County Councilmember Joe McDermott noted that just because something is rezoned doesn’t mean anyone is required to redevelopment.

NHUAC’s Liz Giba wondered about the “opportunity zone” designation and how that factors into rezoning. King Countys Hugo Garcia said it won’t overlap with the business district – it’s a federal designation and it hasn’t drawn much interest so far.

Giba also noted the poverty levels in the Highline Public Schools elementaries in the area; Reid said the county was committed to developing partnerships with agencies and departments. “We need to focus on opportunity for everyone,” Giba declared.

She then wondered what ever happened to White Center’s microhousing pilot project. McDermott said it was about streamlining the permit process, so they approved the idea of two projects. Two sites have been selected, one on Vashon and one in WC, he said, and the council has adopted legislation specifying those two projects, but he had no further details. (We’ll follow up.)

NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin noted that developers have “exploited” areas where lots were platted at 2,500 sf and said that she’d been told over the years that the “loopholes” would be addressed, but they never have. She wondered what loopholes would turn up in this rezoning. King County’s Jim Chan said the market is pricing itself to the point that density is naturally being maxed out. Developers will find a way “to squeeze every inch” of potential density out of property ‘because it pencils out for them,” he observed. The lack of infrastructure supporting that dense development was Dobkin’s major concern. A discussion of the Community Needs list ensued.

to a question about building safety, Chan said they’re hiring – more building inspectors, for example. They’re having a tough time finding people, but they do have openings to fill.

Dobkin brought it back around to: “You keep saying we’re an urban area, but we don’t have the amenities of an urban area” – no sidewalks, not even mandatory trash pickup.” McDermott said, “You’re right,” but noted that the “funding model” of living in an unincorporated area doesn’t support all the amenities and services. “The county’s funding doesn’t exist in the same way that a city has funding opportunities” – fewer ways to raise funds, for example. And that’s why it would benefit North Highline to annex to a neighboring city, he contended, “Yes, we’ve heard all that,” she said. “Annexation is not happening, and we don’t see that in our future.” McDermott suggested they lobby cities if they feel it would be “advantageous.”

WHAT’S NEXT: The Local Services and Land Use Committee will be having briefings and discussions later this month – some action may happen June 21st, and then the SEPA (environmental review process) will launch, continuing into fall.

NEW SHERIFF: McDermott was asked about the announcement of three finalists for King County Sheriff. It’s the King County Executive’s decision to choose the sheriff and send the nomination to the council, McDermott confirmed. He pointed out that the announcement mentioned two public forums – April 18th and 21st.

IN-PERSON MEETINGS? The North Highline Fire District HQ is undergoing some renovations and the meeting room is being used as temporary living quarters through fall, so there’s no venue until then.

DEPUTY KENNAMER: He mentioned traffic troubles (including the 8th/Roxbury crash earlier in the day). Crime stats – a significant increase in commercial burglaries (200 percent); residential burglaries (67%) – 9 and 10 in the past month, respectively. Car thefts more than doubled – six of the seven larcenies were catalytic-converter thefts. He mentioned the pot-shop robberies early last month, “probably the same people who are robbing all the pot shops.” There was a shooting on 14th on March 20th, and the carjacking from the Vintage complex in which teenagers were involved/arrested. Several gunfire incidents with no injuries, too.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC meets at 7 pm first Thursdays, so the next meeting will be May 5th.

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Drive an EV? Show it off at Greenbridge event!

April 12th, 2022 at 5:40 pm Posted in Environment, Greenbridge, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Electric-vehicle owners are invited to participate in an EV fair at Greenbridge on April 23rd. If you don’t have one (yet), you’re invited to come see and learn about EVs. Here’s the announcement:

Seattle Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers and enthusiasts will come together to share their cars and lived experiences with the public. Come meet unbiased EV drivers, check out the different EV models, and take a test drive. The event will take place at the Greenbridge Community Center/Library, SW Boys & Girls Club parking lot. The event will highlight the clean air benefits and cost-savings of electric cars on Saturday, April 23, 2022 to celebrate Drive Electric Earth Day. Seattle’s event is one of dozens of events across the country where communities will gather to celebrate Earth Day and the role that reducing transportation emissions plays in combating climate change, along with the personal and consumer benefits of EVs!

This is set for 10 am-2 pm April 23rd at 9720 8th SW. If you are interested in bringing your EV to participate, you can go here to register.

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Three local groups/projects get county grants

April 7th, 2022 at 3:08 pm Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news | Comments Off on Three local groups/projects get county grants

King County just announced a list of more than $100,000 in grants for groups and projects in unincorporated areas via the Alan M. Painter Grant Program. The program is explained as follows:

Community groups in unincorporated King County competed for the grants, which range between $500 and $5,000 each. Applicants had to match at least one quarter of the total cost of their projects, and the projects had to be accessible to all unincorporated residents, regardless of race, income, or language.

Community Engagement Grants support projects that advance the King County Strategic Plan and achieve at least one of the following goals:

-Promote the engagement of unincorporated area residents in community or civic activities
-Educate local residents about issues that affect them
-Implement a community enhancement project
-Identify and gather community needs and priorities
-Meet King County’s equity and social justice goals of increasing fairness and opportunity for all people, particularly people of color and those with low incomes and/or limited English proficiency

Here’s the full list. The local recipients include the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (which meets tonight), receiving $2,270; Southwest Little League is getting $4,000; and the Seola Riparian Repair project will receive $3,500.

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